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Helen of Wales was a "Big Brother" star

By ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia
 

Helen AdamsHelen of Wales was probably more famous in Britain a few years ago than Helen of New York is in America today. By a remarkable coincidence, her amusing comments on life were also listed at Helenisms, a word that American computer wiz Steve R. White claims (as we recounted in our August edition) to have coined to describe his wife's hilarious mixed metaphors.

Welsh Helen Adams starred in the second series of the British Big Brother TV reality show in 2001. She appealed to viewers as the traditional dumb blonde. A romance between Helen and Paul was one of the highlights, and broke viewing records for London's Channel 4.

"Helen was one of the most lovable characters in the house," the Big Brother website recalls. "A hairdresser from Wales, her dream was to star in the comedy Friends. After Big Brother she starred on Lorraine for a while, and was reported to be opening a hair dressing salon in London."

Later, the Big Brother 7 website said: "Helen Adams cashed in on her fame by signing up for a role on satellite TV as a beauty expert and released an aerobics video. Famous for her nave 'Helenisms', many did not know she was actually dyslexic and since BB, she has also given her support to a Government literacy campaign."

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, says "Her popularity was predominantly due to her dumb blonde persona. Famous quotes from Helen, known as 'Helenisms', have included 'Is there Chicken in Chick Peas?' and 'I like blinking, I do.'

"Helen and Paul, after 5 years together, have since separated, citing a lack of time together as the reason for the break-up. Brian went on to become the first openly gay man to present a children's television show in the UK when he joined SMTV Live."

And if you wonder about the meaning of SMTV Live, it's shorthand for Saturday Morning Television Live, a children's television program broadcast on Britain's independent ITV1 from1998 to 2003.

"Every summer for the last seven years, the Channel 4 show [Big Brother] has both appalled and amused the nation in equal measure," said the London Daily Mirror last month, confirming reports that Helen (now 28) has left Paul and has opened her own hair salon, Nails One, in Clifton Village, Bristol.

That western city knows a lot about Nails. Centuries ago, merchants used to conduct business in the street, says Bristol-Link.co.uk

"Four flat topped pillars called the Nails are still in Corn Street today. Merchants would strike one of the Nails when a transaction was agreed, giving rise to the expression 'to pay on the Nail.'

Now Helen of Wales paints on the nails!

 

Who was Helen of Helensville?

Few Kiwis in Helensville probably know the identity of the Helen who gave her name to their small town, 40 minutes' drive north of Auckland, New Zealand.

One of the first settlers, John McLeod, a Canadian timber miller, named his house in the kauri forest "Helen's Villa", to please his wife. And that became the name of the whole area.

That information was provided by the all-knowing free encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which mentioned that Although it is no longer a forestry or dairy centre, the town is still a tourist attraction, largely because of its many historic buildings, the Hot Sprints at Parakai and the Parakai Aerodrome.

We'd like to learn more about those hot sprints. Maybe they're like those urgent Scrambles that fighter pilots performed on British airfields when enemy bombers were approaching in World War II.

 

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Story first posted September 2006

Copyright 2006

Eric Shackle

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